Greetings from Dublin! One of the goals I had when I started writing full-time was to go somewhere for a month to write, relax, see the sites, etc. Because when else can you just up and leave home for a month? (Memo to any potential burglers out there, someone is staying in my apartment so you'll have to find outdated appliances somewhere else.) I decided on Ireland since a) they speak English, b) I've never been outside of Dublin, and c) why not? So I set-up base at an apartment in Dublin for four glorious weeks. Fortunately, a couple friends of mine have agreed to join me on part of my travels. My friend Chris (my concert bestie, if I mention that I'm going to a concert there's a 90% chance it's with Chris) not only agreed to spend his birthday in Ireland, but that he'd be willing to drive so we could go on a roadtrip. I was extremely happy about this because I didn't want to drive in Ireland for two reasons:
The sheep are no joke. Being from Wisconsin, I'm used to having to look out for deer. The first time a sheep was in the middle of the road, it took me a second to realize what it was. I said, "sheep?" quietly. Then "Sheep!" when I realized what it was, followed by a "SHEEEP!!!!"
The first stop on the road trip was the Rock of Cashal, a beautiful castle (which I apparently didn't take any good photos of!) then we were off to the coastal town of Kinsale. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
The next day, we needed to head to Kenmare for the following day's drive around the Ring of Kerry. Fortunately, this nice couple we met that morning recommended stopping at Mizen Head on the way, which is Ireland's most Southwesterly point. I'm so glad we did because it was absolutely gorgeous (this is a phrase I'll be using a lot to describe Ireland).
The next day was the Ring of Kerry, which is a beautiful peninsula in western Ireland. When my mom (whose father was from Ireland) found out that we'd be going there, she wanted me to try to contact one of the possibly last family members still in Ireland. Here's how this conversation went:
MOM: You need to go to Sneem, because my cousin was there six years ago and met one of our relatives. She was in really poor health back then, but what you need to do is go to the first house on the right when you enter Sneem, bring a bottle of booze, knock on the door, and tell them who you are. ME: Yeah. I'm not doing that. MOM: You're being ridiculous.
Yes, I'm being ridiculous. I'm not going to knock on some random door that may or may not contain someone related to me. I'm pretty sure about a dozen Lifetime movies started with some young girl knocking on a stranger's door with alcohol. Plus, there are four different ways to enter Sneem and there's been some new construction. So, sorry Mom! I did take this picture for you!
The coastal drive was beautiful (there's that word again!).
One thing that I didn't get to see was Skellig Michael. I don't have a "bucket list" but have been thinking about starting one with Skellig Michael at the top of it. The weather didn't allow us to go out there (the conditions haven't been great for almost a month, you really have to hit it just at the right time). Skellig Michael is a small, steep, and sharp island 8 miles away from the coast. During the 7th century, a group of monks decided to set-up a monastary there. It's hard enough to reach there now with all our modern advances, but for whatever reason, these monks traveled there and built huts and lived there until the 12th century. Next time...
I think I've probably bored you all enough with my photos. But if you want more, don't worry, I've got plenty more pics from the trip that I'll be posting tomorrow, including the highlight of the trip so far: the Dingle Peninsula.
Please note: comments will be closed while I'm abroad.